I would like to start buying our food locally. Fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and possibly meat and eggs. We live in a NW suburb of Chicago. I tried local farmer's markets last year, and not a lot of stuff was organic. And I don't mean certified, just organic.
After having watched parts of yet another disturbing video, this time about factory dairy farming procedures, and seeing how cruel they are to the animals and how some individuals don't mind brutal killing of baby calves, I'm done. To be honest, I'd consider going vegan. I do love cheese and yougurt though. I have been shopping at TJ's and WF. I would much rather support local farmers. I limited the amount of meat we buy a very long time ago. I'm obviously very concerned about how the animals are treated. Does anyone have any experience with any organic farmers that either come to the markets or mail produce/meat/eggs weekly or biweekly?
There are a lot of resources out this way. There are several organic CSA farms in the area (Erehwon, Angelic Organics, Green Earth Institute, Wellhausen Farm, etc). that will drop off produce to a point in the area. They generally use organic growing practices although they may not be certified. Many of them also sell at local farmers markets so you can buy their local "organic" produce as you desire at the market if you don't want to commit to a share. We're shareholders with Angelic Organics and can't say enough good things about it (have worked with other local CSAs too).
Kimberly Schiffer (a MDC mom) runs a weekly organic produce co-op in Naperville that allows you to order organic produce year-round although the stuff isn't necessarily super local.
Four Winds Waldorf School in Warrenville does regular orders of local eggs that are organic or at least humane organic practice type for families at the school. They also do orders of local raw honey. I'm sure if you call them and express interest you could order through them, although I'm not sure if they do orders through the summer months.
We order most of our meats direct from the ranchers in the area and buy 1/2 animals at a time but if you want smaller quantities you can buy at the markets (Hasselmann Farms does pork at the markets and they're humanely raised). Moograss Farms also sells eggs, raw dairy, grassfed organic practice beef, etc. in smaller quantities. You have to be a member to purchase raw dairy but the rest can be purchased as desired in their weekly orders. I'm not sure who supplies their beef these days. We tried them a few years back and didn't care for the texture of the beef.
Anyway, I hope that will get you started. localharvest.org is another great resource to find what you need in the area. Good luck!
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FYI, I just got an email this morning from Angelic Organics that they're offering a promotion for $50 off 12 week, 20 week, or their new 1/2 shares if you sign up by May 10th. If you're interested, drop me a PM and I'll send you the discount code. If you want to see what a typical week's share looks like, I can email you some pictures of my haul from week to week throughout the season (I'm a visual person and I had a hard time getting a true sense of what a share would translate to just by reading about them).
We get an organic produce box every weekend from Fresh Picks – you are also able to add items like milk, eggs, meat, etc. to your order as needed. The produce is not 100% local (particularly in the winter), but a good portion of it is. The eggs are local, non-factory, etc. No complaints! We get our box delivered to our door on Saturdays here in Oak Park.
I know this thread is a little old, but I wanted to chime in to say how much we love the products we get from Hasselmann Family Farms. You can read about them at http://onebyonebyone.blogspot.com/2011/04/eating-locally.html. They have some new delivery options available in the area and are also at a few farmer's markets. Just wanted to share...